Industries Post-COVID-19: A Gender-Responsive Approach to Global Economic Recovery
By Cecilia Ugaz Estrada, Müge Dolun, Carmen Schuber, Nicolas Schmidt
What most crises have in common is that they hit the most vulnerable and marginalised populations – among which women are disproportionally represented – the hardest. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, especially those facing multiple forms of discrimination related to poverty, race or disability, is increasingly being documented. As reported in the UN Secretary General’s Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on Women, and captured widely through media reports, women and girls globally suffer more from the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, simply by virtue of their gender.
In addition to the immediate concerns related to increases in unpaid care work, domestic violence and exposure to the weaknesses of the healthcare system, the pandemic’s long-term economic repercussions are also likely to disproportionately affect women’s productive lives compared to men’s. The specific needs and contributions of women as workers, business owners and entrepreneurs must be better understood and addressed when developing measures to reactivate the economy. All aspects – from accessing financial rescue packages, credit and unemployment benefits to removing barriers for women to perform higher-skilled and better-paid jobs – should be considered for the economic recovery to be effective, inclusive and sustainable.
Photo courtesy of coyot.